From chapter "Value-Free Science "
Just yesterday I heard a scientist say on television, “Science is truth.”
And of course that’s one of the problems with science. It allows exploiters to pretend they’re describing reality when they’re speculating and projecting with the worst of them. And part of the point of any exploitative philosophy is to make the exploitation seem natural or inevitable. Thus it is pleasing for kings and their allies to propagate the notion that kings are placed on thrones by a God who looks quite like them. It is pleasing for men and their allies to propagate the notion that they are placed on their smaller more familial thrones by a God who also looks quite like them. It is pleasing for those who wish to steal land from American Indians to propagate the notion that it is their Manifest Destiny to overspread the continent, and it is pleasing as well for them to believe their way of life is superior to all of these others. It is pleasing for those who wish to exploit others to create a Great Chain of Being and to place themselves at its earthly top. It is pleasing for those who wish to “exploit natural resources” to create a philosophy, a worldview, an ideology, and a theology which declares the world to consist of “natural resources,” not other beings, and to deride evidence to the contrary as “speculation” or “philosophizing” or “anthropomorphizing.” It is pleasing for those who perceive themselves as superior to all others to create various and mutable rationales for this superiority, whether it is to generate a mythology where you’re created in the image of an omnipotent God or to create a mythology where your notion of what is true is based on your ability to enslave others, as Richard Dawkins puts it when he says that “science bases its claims to truth on its spectacular ability to make matter and energy jump through hoops on command,” in other words, when he makes clear that the very epistemology of this culture is based on the ability to enslave. It is pleasing to those who wish to exploit others to declare, as writer Charles Mann does, about a world “run by human beings for human purposes,” that “anything goes. . . . Native Americans managed the continent as they saw fit. Modern nations must do the same.” But there is a world of difference between indigenous peoples forming long-term relationships with their landbases, and ExxonMobil drilling for gas.